From ArchWiki
(Redirected from Questionable edits)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A collection of check lists to be used when performing complex changes to articles or other maintenance operations.

Move a section within the same page

The move should be done in a single edit that does not change anything else:

  1. Open the article in an editor.
  2. Cut the text to be moved. Do not save the page now, i.e. do not perform the move in two edits, the first removing the section and the second pasting it, or in the second edit it will seem that you are the author of the section, especially if the accompanying edit summary is not clear.
  3. Paste the cut text at the new position.
  4. Adapt the heading level if needed, but do not make any other adaptations to the content for the moment, otherwise the modifications will not be visible in the resulting edit diff.
  5. Save the page, properly writing the edit summary.
  6. Now you can proceed to editing the section text normally, as required.

Split section to a new subpage

This procedure is useful when moving a section of an article that has become too long to a subpage of that article.

  1. Open the origin article section in an editor.
  2. Copy the entire section content.
  3. Open the destination subpage in another editor.
  4. Paste the copied content in the destination editor without modifications.
  5. Save the destination subpage with an edit summary like content split from [[Origin article#Section]]; make sure to include a link to the original page, or it will seem that you are the author of the content.
  6. In the origin editor, replace the split content with a link to the destination subpage either leaving the section heading in place, or adding a link to the Related articles box of the article.
  7. Save the origin page with an edit summary like content moved to [[Destination subpage]].
  8. Re-open the destination subpage in an editor.
  9. Categorize the destination subpage like the origin article.
  10. Add a link to the origin article at the top, for example See [[Origin article]] for the main article.
  11. Adapt the levels of the headings of the new subpage to start from the second level.
    Tip: This step can be done automatically with Wiki Monkey's plugin.
  12. Save the destination subpage with a proper edit summary.

Further advanced additional steps:

  • Check and fix any broken links to sections in both the origin and destination pages, and in pages linking to the origin page.
Tip: This step can be done automatically with Wiki Monkey's plugin.

Deal with talk pages after redirecting a page to another

If page A has been redirected to page B, for example after merging the content of A into page B, and Talk:A exists:

  • If Talk:B does not exist, move the entire Talk:A to Talk:B, letting MediaWiki automatically redirect Talk:A to Talk:B.
  • If Talk:B exists:
    1. Move the still relevant discussions, if any, from Talk:A to Talk:B.
    2. Ensure that the discussions left in Talk:A, if any, are closed.
      • If Talk:A hosts discussions that have been closed for less than the period specified in Help:Discussion#Closing a discussion, flag Talk:A with Template:Redirect, so that the page will be redirected to Talk:B after the closing period.
      • Else, immediately redirect Talk:A to Talk:B.

Fix double redirects

  1. Read this section to understand what redirects are.
  2. Check out Special:DoubleRedirects to see if there are any.
  3. For example, if you see Pastebin Clients (Edit) →‎ Common Applications →‎ List of applications, it means Pastebin Clients redirects to Common Applications, and Common Applications redirects to List of applications. Therefore, Pastebin Clients is a double redirect.
  4. To fix it, edit Pastebin Clients and change #REDIRECT [[Common Applications]] to #REDIRECT [[List of applications]] to skip the middleman.
  5. Enter an edit summary such as Fixed double redirect and save.
Tip: This task can be done automatically with Wiki Monkey's plugin.

Fix broken package links

ArchWiki contains many broken links to packages not found either in official repositories or AUR, which is the result of packages being merged, split or removed from the repositories. All pages in the main namespace are regularly checked by a bot, which checks all instances of AUR, Grp and Pkg templates, tries to automatically update them and marks them with Template:Broken package link when it is not possible to update them automatically.

To fix a broken package link, do not simply remove the reference to the packages from the wiki, do some research first:

  • Search the package database (pacman -Ss) and AUR, it is possible that the package was merged/renamed.
  • If looking for a specific file, for example a binary that was part of the package, pkgfile might do the trick.
  • If unsure, mark the page or section with an appropriate status template rather than completely removing the reference to the package.

To help with manual updates, each "broken package link" template provides a hint:

  • "invalid number of template parameters" – All AUR, Grp and Pkg templates take exactly one parameter, but the wikitext specified more (or none). In most cases the excessive parameters should be moved to the surrounding text, or removed if already there.
  • "replaced with [other package]" – The package was renamed or merged into another, which specifies the old package name in the replaces array. In most cases the old package should be simply replaced with the new one and surrounding text updated accordingly.
  • "package not found" – Default hint when none of the above applies.

All pages with broken package links are tracked in Category:Pages with broken package links. There is also an automatic report page at

Note: The bot updates only package links, but not the text around them, which is too context-sensitive. For example, in [1] the AUR link was changed to Pkg, but the surrounding text still says that the package is in AUR. These instances can be fixed and "future-proofed" by simply removing the surrounding description of where the package is; see also Help:Style#Package management instructions. We currently have no means of automatically tracking this kind of problems, suggestions are welcome.

Fix broken section links

Pages may occasionally contain broken section links, which is the result of sections being renamed, merged, moved or deleted from the pages. All pages in the main namespace are regularly checked by a bot, which checks all links and marks them with Template:Broken section link when section links are broken.

To fix a broken section link, do not simply remove the reference to the section links from the wiki, do some research first:

  • Looking at the history of the page where the section is located, it is possible that the section was renamed/merged/moved/deleted.
  • If unsure, mark the section with an appropriate status template rather than completely removing the reference to the section.

All pages with broken section links are tracked in Category:Pages with broken section links.

Create a new page and its translation

See ArchWiki Translation Team#Create a new page and its translation.

Move a discussion to another talk page

  1. Copy the discussion text to the destination talk page, making sure to add, between the new heading and the pasted text, a note like:
    ''[Moved from [[Origin talk page#Heading]]. -- ~~~~]''
  2. Strike the heading in the origin talk page and replace the content with a note like:
    ''[Moved to [[Destination talk page#Heading]]. -- ~~~~]''

Rename a category

  1. Move the category page the same way as you would move a normal page, ensuring a redirect is created from the old title to the new one. This will only rename the category page itself, the members of the category will not be recategorized.
  2. Recategorize all members of the old category to use the new one.
    Tip: This can be done automatically with a script, which relies on the redirect from the old category to detect the new name and thus it is not limited to changes in capitalization or similar heuristics.
  3. Update all interlanguage links.
    Tip: This can be done automatically with a script or Wiki Monkey's bot plugin.
  4. Update all backlinks of the old category to refer to the new one.
    Tip: This can be done automatically by running Wiki Monkey's RegExp substitution plugin on the old category's Special:WhatLinksHere page, with a substitution like (\[\[|\{\{Related2?\|):[ _]*[Cc]ategory[ _]*:[ _]*[Oo]ld[ _]name[ _]*(#|\||\]\]|\}\}) -> $1:Category:New name$2 (assuming the old category name is "Category:Old name").
  5. Mark the old category with Template:Archive, without destroying the redirect (the old category is likely still linked from Table of contents).
    Tip: If the category has no relevant history, it can be deleted by an administrator, after ensuring that steps 2.-4. have actually been performed.

Remove an entire page


Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: This section was moved from ArchWiki:Maintenance Team because patrolling can be done by anybody, but the wording still needs adaptations to the new expanded audience, integration/cross-reference with ArchWiki:Contributing#Maintaining and ArchWiki:Contributing#The most important task. There are still many references to the concept of "report", which however is an obsolete practice. Status templates must be referred to specifically as "status templates", not generically "templates". Using talk pages must be better highlighted as a reaction to a questionable edit. (Discuss in Help talk:Procedures#)

The supervision of the edits made to the wiki can be accomplished in two complementary stages: #Recent changes patrolling and #Report solving. The former stage is where the problems are found and reported, while the latter is where they are finally processed and solved.

You can engage in one of the two tasks, or even in both if you want, keeping in mind that patrolling the recent changes obviously requires a more constant commitment, while fixing the reports is much more flexible and can be done whenever you find some time.

Recent changes patrolling

There are two main ways you can patrol the recent changes:

For each edit, or group of edits made to the same page, you should assess if it is questionable, according to your experience and knowledge, also taking into account the list of the most frequent problems.

  • If you think the edit requires a quick fix that you can perform immediately, just do it.
  • If instead the edit is questionable but you cannot fix it, you should look if it has already been flagged with appropriate template:
    • If not, add appropriate template to appropriate section describing the problem.
    • In case the edit has already been reported, see if you can add useful details to the accompanying note or discussion.
Tip: Make patrolling easier by taking the following steps:
  • Enable the Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist setting under Preferences > Recent changes > Advanced options.
  • To follow your watched articles using a feed reader, use the Atom link in the left column of your watchlist page.

Report solving

  • If you think you can fix the report, just do it and remove appropriate templates. Read also #Common problems and solutions.
  • If otherwise you feel it is better to contact the author of the questionable edit, write him a message in his talk page, or send him an email in order to request an explanation or discuss further.
  • Prefer trying to fix the oldest reports
  • Prefer fixing content-related over style-related issues.
  • You may consider using an editor assistant (e.g. Wiki Monkey's Editor configuration) in order to solve some common style issues automatically.

Common problems and solutions

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: it may be useful to add more examples. (Discuss in Help talk:Procedures#)


  • Removal of useful content: undo or contact the author.
  • Unexplained modification or removal of content: contact the author.
  • Major modification (usually in a single bulky edit) without sufficient explanation: contact the author.


  • Signature, credits, personal observations in articles: undo or move to talk page.
  • Start headings from level 1: move all sections up 1 level.
  • Uncategorized new article: add category and fix header.
  • Improper use of templates: fix according to Help:Style.
  • Addition of installation instructions: undo or comply with Help:Style.